The London Magazine Poetry Prize 2020


Submissions are CLOSED

Over the years The London Magazine has been home to some of the most prestigious poets in its long publishing history, from John Keats to Sylvia Plath and Derek Walcott. Our annual Poetry Prize seeks out new voices in poetry, providing a platform for publication in the UK’s oldest literary journal.

All poems submitted must be previously unpublished and no longer than 40 lines. We have no criteria as to theme, form or style but we are looking for fresh, diverse and innovative new work. This competition is open to international entries, and we are delighted to announce that this year’s shortlist will be judged by Ella Frears, Forward shortlisted poet and editor of Magma Poetry, Joe Dunthorne, whose collection O Positive is published by Faber, and T.S. Eliot Prize winner Roger Robinson.


Entry fee: £10 per poem 

Subsequent entries: £5 per poem 

Student entry: £5 per poem
(There is no limit to the number of entries you can submit. Students must use a university email address – or similar – to enter with student fee).

Low income writer: £5 entry
(Writers receiving benefits may send up to three poems in one document under this option, but to be eligible please also attach a document proving that you are in receipt of benefits). 

Opening date: 12th August 2020
Closing date: 12th October 2020
DEADLINE EXTENDED: 18th October (4pm)


First Prize: £500
Second Prize: £300
Third Prize: £200

The winning poems will be published in future issues of The London Magazine and there will be an award ceremony held in London for the winners. Please enter your poems through the link below:

Enter Poetry Prize 2020


Here is some more information on this year’s judges, who we are absolutely over the moon to be working with:

Photo credit: Etienne Gilfillan

Ella Frears is a poet and visual artist based in London. Her debut collection, Shine, Darling, published by Offord Road Books (2020) is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and is shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. She has had poetry published in the LRB, Poetry London, The Guardian, The Telegraph, Ambit, The Rialto, and the Moth among others.

She is a trustee and editor for Magma Poetry, has completed residencies for the National Trust, Tate Britain, SPUD (the Observatory), conservation organisation Back from the Brink, and was poet in residence at Royal Holloway University physics department, writing about the Cassini Space Mission.



Photo credit: Tom Medwell

Joe Dunthorne was born and grew up in Swansea. His debut novel, Submarine, was translated into twenty languages and adapted for film by Richard Ayoade. His second, Wild Abandon, won the Society Of Authors’ Encore Award. His latest is The Adulterants. A collection of his poems, O Positive, was published by Faber in 2019. His poetry has been published in magazines and anthologies and has featured on Channel 4, and BBC Radio 3 and 4.




Photo credit: Naomi Woddis

Roger Robinson is a writer, educator and performer. He was chosen by Decibel as one of 50 writers who have influenced the black-British writing canon. He received commissions from The National Trust, London Open House, BBC, The National Portrait Gallery, V&A, INIVA, MK Gallery and Theatre Royal Stratford East where he also was associate artist. He is an alumni of The Complete Works.

His workshops have been part of a shortlist for the Gulbenkian Prize for Museums and Galleries and were also a part of the Webby Award winning Barbican’s Can I Have A Word. He is the winner of the 2019 T.S. Eliot Prize and his latest collection A Portable Paradise was selected as a New Statesman book of the year. He was shortlisted for The OCM Bocas Poetry Prize, The Oxford Brookes Poetry Prize and highly commended by the Forward Poetry Prize 2013. He has toured extensively with the British Council and is a co-founder of both Spoke Lab and the international writing collective Malika’s Kitchen. He is the lead vocalist and lyricist for King Midas Sound and has also recorded solo albums with Jahtari Records.

Enter Poetry Prize 2020

If you have any queries about the prize or submission guidelines, please don’t hesitate to get in touch at the following address:


We are interested in a wide variety of topics and many different styles of writing and recommend you submit through our online portal. However, we do find that those who are familiar with what we publish stand a far better chance of having their submissions accepted, so we also recommend getting your hands on a copy of our print journal which can be purchased here from our shop.

To discover more content exclusive to our print and digital editions, subscribe here to receive a copy of The London Magazine to your door every two months, while also enjoying full access to our extensive digital archive of essays, literary journalism, fiction and poetry.